Skip links

Thanda Lions

The Thanda Lions Football Team or ‘Amabhubese’ (isiZulu for ‘The Lions’) predominantly comprises unemployed youth from the Thanda region. In addition to soccer coaching, it assists the players with personal development and education.

Donate Now

The Thanda Lions Football Team, or “Amabhubesi” (isiZulu for “The Lions”) is campaigning in the regional amateur league of the South African Football Association. With the support from Thanda Safari owner Dan Olofsson, the team was started by manager Thabani Gumede as a staff team in 2015. Over the years the team has transformed into the leading team for player development within the district, all players originate from the rural UMkhanyakude region, and many of them have attedned schools that are supported by the Star For Life program.

The Lions were coached by Swedish football coach Anna Nyman for ten successful years, with the team winning the league four times and numerous players reaching professional and semi-professional levels both within South Africa and Europe. Today Anna is the general manager of the club, along with her management of the women empowerment program Football For Life.

Being part of the team not only gives the players the technical, tactical and physical development they need; it also assists them with personal development so that they can excel as professionals, both in football and in the workplace.

The club is also a platform for the development and growth of leaders, the present coaches Njabulo Gumede and Phakamani Nxumalo, both have received their CAF C licences. A testament to this is that the coaches led the team to become the regional winners during their first year at the helm. More recently, amongst their many achievements, they have coached the regional team to a win in the provincial SALGA tournament and have been part of the technical teams representing the province both for SAFA and school sports.